The Battle of El Marne which took place between September 6 – 12 of 1914 has been described by historian Holger Herwig as, “the most decisive land battle since Waterloo”…it is no wonder that a sensitive, ill-fated genius Eduardo Arolas would be inspired to compose a tango commemorating the event…..the Gemans had been counting on the famous Schlieffen Plan, the rapid advance and defeat of France before turning their attention to Russia…instead, French, Belgium and British forces stopped the rapid German advance which had arrived to within 30 miles of a resigned Paris, already preparing for seige….had the Germans not been stopped the world would have been a very different place, “no Hitler, no Stalin, no Lenin” Herwig emphasizes….but the new killing technology exacted a cost in lives which was unimaginable; 250,000 dead out of two million men were committed to battle…the Battle of El Marne ushered in years of trench warfare and what one German historian would later call, “the monotonous, mutual mass murder” 


The tango “El Marne” was a major hit for Arolas and was recorded by many musicians, Osmar Maderna in 1947, Pedro Maffia in 1959, Anibal Troilo in 1967 and Osvaldo Fresedo on June 27 of 1980…this was to be one of Fresedo’s  last recordings; he would pass away just four years later at the age of 87…Fresedo’s career was the longest of any musician; he made over 1250 recordings over a sixty-three year career…he was only sixteen years old when he put together his first group; Eduardo Arolas himself, gave him his first break by inviting him to play at the Montemarte Cafe…already by the age of twenty Arolas was a renown composer; in fact, in the eyes of some cognoscenti, he was the greatest tango composer of all time…one day, returning home unexpectedly, he found his beloved wife Delia in bed with his older brother…he would never fully recover from the shock…just a few years later he would die from complications of alcoholism alone in a small hospital on the outskirts of Paris; he was thirty-two years old


  1. December 11th, 2011

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: